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Two detailed summaries of Leslie Dewart’s book, Evolution and Consciousness: The Role of Speech in the Origin and Development of Human Nature (University of Toronto Press, 1989) are now available in audio format.

The Synopsis is the longer, more detailed, and more complete of the two summaries (44.0MB; 1:36). Download or listen:

Another essay, the Conspectus, appears to be an earlier draft of the Synopsis. Slightly shorter, less formal, and more tightly focused on the treatment of religion in the book, it also reviews the main points of the argument as a whole (34.3MB; 1:15). Download or listen:

I obtained these unpublished papers from Prof. Dewart when I studied with him in graduate school in the early 1990’s. Although masterful and sweeping, E&C can also be dense and difficult. I find these two summaries more complementary than redundant, notwithstanding some duplication between them.

My experience has been that the more deeply I have developed my understanding of this book, the better I have been able to make sense of my situation as a human being in the world in which I find myself. I have found these papers helpful in that process, and I hope that being able to listen to these summaries read aloud will make E&C more accessible to others.